At this point, you could cut me into thirds. Young woman, artist, business owner. All equal parts. And just as my growth as an artist is not separate from my growth as a person, my growth as a business owner ties into everything that I am.
Since I decided to become a business owner in 2010, I've learned a lot. I'm no master yet, of course. And, I want to share these lessons with you...
1. Scale down
Sometimes ambition can cloud your good judgment and leave wisdom by the wayside. Scaling down does not mean that you must forget your bigger goals but it does mean acknowledging that everything you want will not happen at once. As beginners, you should know that starting small is ok.
2. Business people are still...people
Nobody's perfect. And although we spout this phrase time and time again, it has never been more evident to me than it is now. I have to manage and read people and give 100% when I'm tired and one person might feel like they are doing more work than everyone else, or people are late for meetings or when you thought you were on the right track but just when you are ready to say hooray something goes wrong. One or more of these things could happen everyday. When you are in the midst of it, they will seem like little tragedies. But, at the end of the day, people are people, not robots without feelings and (hopefully) we all have lives outside of our business ventures. Cuz you know what? Stuff happens. Which leads me to my next point. We are all learning all the time and...
3.You must be flexible
No plan survives contact with the enemy. You can plan everything to a t. You might think you have planned to avoid all incident but the fact is, you haven't. Really anything can happen. Plan what you can, and set the work down when it's done.
4. One project is not everything.
Put the work down during the day. Give yourself limits and don't be too hard on yourself when things don't go your way. Trust me, I am the queen of berating myself when stuff doesn't work out. I can now see how detrimental that is for the work, the team, and ultimately to my own mental health. I've learned to give myself a break by celebrating small successes, even if that means just patting myself on the back after working on it for a few hours. Ultimately, you're useless if you burn yourself out from overworking. Personally, I like to indulge myself in some sugary treat, take a nice walk or catch up on my favorite tv show(and now that Shondaland is back on the scene, this is VERY easy). Basically, when you feel like giving up, you probably just need a break. So, take one. And, make it delicious! (For instance, Olivia Pope enjoys a bowl of buttety popcorn and a glass of wine after a long day of saving hot messes from becoming bigger hot messes. If she can take a break, so can you.
All in all, be good to yourself! It ain't easy but with a little passion and patience, you can do anything.
I believe in you! I hope you do too!
Til next time,
p.s. My Indiegogo campaign is still up and running on Indiegogo for 17 days, so feel free to check it out: http://igg.me/at/letstalkiwd